If you are regularly marketing your indie studio using social media (and if you are not, why in the world not?!), then you may have noticed that some of your followers seem ‘displaced’ among the rest of your followers. They don’t seem to fit in with your target audience, they never engage with you in social media, and their profiles just look a little suspicious. You cannot put your finger on it, but you have a hunch that these followers are not exactly who they appear to be.
When marketing your indie studio on social media, you are going to run into these types of followrs all the time. These are fake accounts that have chosen to follow you for some reason or another, and for most people, it is nothing more than an annoyance one has a deal with when marketing a brand. Don’t be fooled: allowing fake profiles to continue to follow you can actually hurt your brand!
Social media networks are sick and tired of fake profiles taking up room and adding zero value to the network at large. Furthermore, social networks are now keen on the fact that countless brands have been using fake followers to make it look like they actually have an audience and thus labeling themselves as an expert. If they spot that you have an abundance of fake followers that are following your profile, they could very well disable your account altogether (believe me, it happens all the time).
Moreover, your legitimate followers are also being exposed to these fake profiles as well – which could make them a target for spam. If your followers learn that their influx of spam originated from your social profile? They are not going to be very happy and may even choose to unfollow you.
As you can see, allowing the follower that seems fake to continue to follow your brand is a poor idea. The ramifications could be severe if you do not do something about it in the near future. Luckily (and thanks to the great minds at Social Media Examiner), there are a few tools and tactics you can use to remove these fakes once and for all. Use these tools in practice these tips diligently, and the only profiles that will be following your brand going forward will be legitimate!
Quick note: We’re only focusing on Twitter and Facebook today. In the near future, look for a post that details how to remove fakes from other popular social networks such as Instagram.
Have you noticed that the bulk of your ‘fake followers’ stem from Twitter? Then consider using Status People’s Fakers app. This neat little app identifies which accounts are fake and inactive, then gives you a breakdown of the percentage of how many followers are active, which ones are inactive, and which ones are fake.
Identifying which followers are fake is extremely important. Fakers dictates fake followers as those that have only a few-to-no followers, also has little-to-no activity, yet follows a substantial amount of profiles. I used the tool for my own Twitter profile, and only found a couple of fake followers that were following me. From there, all I had to do was copy and paste their Twitter handle into Twitter and block them: it’s as simple as that.
What about Facebook?
Facebook is a tricky beast when it comes to finding and removing fakes. There are no tools that can help you to do this easily, so you will need to put on your detective hat and do a little sleuthing yourself. The best way to do this is to simply take a look at your followers, look for these red flags, and then block their account altogether:
- Is there no activity?
- This is one of the biggest red flags of all. If someone is following you yet there is no activity, then it is safe to block them.
- Do they only ‘Like’ Pages?
- Arguably tied for the biggest red flag of all, if you notice that the only activity from the suspicious follower is ‘Liking’ Pages, then you definitely have a fake follower that is following your brand. Block them!
- Do they use stock images for their cover and profile photos?
- Anybody can spot a stock image from a mile away. If you notice any of your suspicious followers use stock images for their profile/cover photos, then you need to block them immediately.
- Different language?
- You may have also noticed that some followers speak and write in a language different from yours. If fake profiles guilty of this have never engaged in your brand in any way, they are certainly a fake follower. Once again, the solution is to block them.
Luckily, Facebook and other social networks are trying to crack down on fake followers. It is one of the reasons why Justin Bieber lost 3.5-million Instagram followers last December, so it looks like top social networks are actually doing their part to eliminate spam. Chances are slim that they will be unable to remove all fake profiles completely (in fact, I would say it is impossible), so do your part to actively fight against fake followers that are doing nothing but harming your brand.